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What Is Marriage Tax Allowance: Ultimate Guide

Author: Jack Lloyd
Updated: Apr 01, 2024
8 minutes read
  • If you're married or in a civil partnership, you could be entitled to a £1,260 tax break called marriage tax allowance
  • It's really simple to apply
  • Over two million couples miss out on this opportunity

What is Marriage Tax Allowance and how do I claim it?

Marriage tax allowance is where you are able to transfer £1,260 of your own personal allowance, which is the amount you can earn tax-free each tax year, to a spouse or civil partner. However, this is only if they earn more than you.

A successful marriage tax claim will then lower the person with the higher income’s tax bill for the tax year. Plus you can also backdate your claim if you’re eligible.

A couple filling out a Marriage Tax Allowance claim on their laptops

Who Can Claim Marriage Tax Allowance?

People with the following circumstances will be eligible to apply:

  • You need to be married or in a civil partnership

  • Between you, one of you needs to be a non-taxpayer. This is someone who earns less than £12,570 personal allowance

  • The other partner needs to earn less than £50,270, or if you live in Scotland, £43,662. This is known as a basic 20% rate taxpayer. Higher taxpayers will not be eligible for this allowance

  • You both must have also been born on or after 6 April 1935. If not, there's a different tax perk called Married Couple's Allowance that you can apply for

To summarise, one of you must be a non-taxpayer and the other must be a basic-rate taxpayer.

When Can You Apply for Marriage Allowance?

You can apply now as the new tax year starts on the 6th April. Read our article for more information on how to claim marriage allowance.

How Much Can You Get From Marriage Allowance

Right now the marriage tax allowance for the tax year is worth up to £252.

If you're eligible and your marriage tax application is successful, you will also get the tax break each year going forward so there will be no need to keep reapplying.

Plus, as well as receiving the current year's allowance, you can also backdate your claim by up to four tax years too. This is currently 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24.

These are the amounts for each year:

  • 2024/25 - £252

  • 2023/24 – £252

  • 2022/23 – £252

  • 2021/22 – £252

  • 2020/21 – £250

This means that if you claim for this tax year and backdate it four years, you would get up to £1,258.

You wouldn’t have to tick any boxes or make a separate request for this – it will happen automatically.

When Can I Start Receiving Marriage Tax Allowance?

When you receive marriage tax will depend on which year you're claiming for. If it’s for the current tax year, the higher earner will then start paying slightly less tax on their take-home pay. This can be done by adjusting the person’s tax code.

If employed, the person who transferred their personal allowance will also receive a new tax code.

How Long Before You See A Change In Your Pay?

It normally takes two days to get a new tax code, but when you’ll start seeing a change in your pay will depend on whether your employer gets it in before the payroll cut off date.

If they receive it after then it’s likely to be received the following month.

If you're self-employed then your self-assessment tax bill will be reduced as HMRC will account for you having a bigger allowance.

If you're backdating for previous years then you’ll receive a payout which you can either get via a bank transfer or receive a cheque.

How Long Does It Take To Receive The Money

If you have submitted your claim online then the process will take HMRC around two weeks to process and for you to receive the money in your account.

If you've submitted by post, then according to HMRC it will take between 24 and 29 working days after receipt to receive the money.


So if you’re eligible, you and your partner could be entitled to a £1,258 tax break. Plus if your application is successful, you will also get a tax break each year going forward.

To explore more types of tax claims you could be eligible for, check out our homepage to learn more from our various articles and information.

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